Youth offending team officer

Youth offending service officer

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Youth offending team officers work to prevent children and young people under 18 from offending and reoffending.

Salary range: £20,000 to £38,000

How to become a youth offending team officer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • volunteering
  • applying directly

University

You could do a foundation degree, degree or postgraduate award in:

  • youth work
  • youth justice
  • social work
  • criminology

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • at least 1 A level, or equivalent, for a foundation degree
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course

More information

Volunteering and experience

You can start by volunteering to work with young people. For example, mentoring will give you an understanding of the issues they face.

You can also support young people in the criminal justice system by volunteering as an appropriate adult. Opportunities and training are organised locally.

Direct application

You may be able to apply directly for jobs if you have relevant experience and a qualification in:

  • youth work
  • probation
  • social work
  • policing

More information

Further information

You’ll find more details about working with young people, training and volunteering through the Youth Justice Board.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of psychology
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to work on your own
  • customer service skills
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • carrying out risk assessments and planning how to manage future risk of reoffending
  • preparing reports for the courts before sentencing
  • coming up with action plans to support young offenders and prevent them from reoffending
  • referring young offenders to agencies to support their welfare needs, like housing, or drug and alcohol misuse services
  • supervising young offenders on court orders and community sentences, and after their release from secure institutions
  • helping young offenders into education, work or training, and encouraging them to take part in constructive activities
  • visiting young people in secure institutions

Working environment

You could work in a court, at a client’s home, in a prison, in the community, at a police station or in an office.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to team leader or team manager.

With further training you could move into social work or educational welfare.

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